Study on Child Wellbeing in Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan UNICEF are embarking on new child wellbeing research to better understand the vulnerabilities that children experience in this country. UNICEF has partnered with the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and with the Institute of Development Studies to undertake this research, part of UNICEF’s Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities, which will be the first study to provide an up-to-date comprehensive picture of the situation of children and youth in the country.

The study will focus on key dimensions of child wellbeing; the dimensions will be conceptualized as part of the research and adapted from existing frameworks to fit with the specific-country and developmental contexts. This is of particular relevance as Kazakhstan has made great economic progress over the past decade, with major improvements in terms of human development and towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In fact, the country has already achieved many of the MDGs back in 2006/07 and has set up an ambitious agenda for the MDG plus targets.

But the study is also important as there are indications that despite some progress, the standards of living of many women and children in Kazakhstan are lagging behind. Large differences in living standards between oblasts and among rural and urban areas remain. Rural poverty is twice the urban one, and malnutrition of children in the least prosperous regions is 5 times that of children in the capital city Astana. The study incorporates vulnerability and equity analyses and will address the following questions:

  • Which dimensions of wellbeing are reflective of the lives of children and youth?
  • Who are the poor and vulnerable children? Where and how do they live?
  • What is the breadth of child wellbeing?
  • What are the main determinants for child wellbeing?
  • What is the legal framework guiding the lives of children in Kazakhstan?
  • What social policies aimed at children are currently in place?
  • To what extent do current social policies contribute to child wellbeing?

The study will apply a mixed-method approach combining literature review, quantitative data analysis, qualitative data collection and analysis and poverty mapping. A technical working group composed of line ministries, the Agency of Statistics and different actors in the field of child policies will provide feedback and ensure that national priorities are addressed throughout the project.

Key contacts

Keetie Roelen

Research Fellow / Co-Director, Centre for Social Protection


+44 (0)1273 915824

Project details

start date
25 March 2011
end date
1 July 2012


About this project

Programmes and centres
Centre for Social Protection


Recent work


Child Wellbeing in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, a resource-rich country in Central Asia, has witnessed strong and continuous economic growth until 2007, when the financial and economic crisis hit the country.

2 July 2012